Queensland ramps up effort to fight virus

Aaron Bunch
Annastacia Palaszczuk says her government is doing everything it can to contain the virus

The Queensland government has ramped up its response to the coronavirus threat while urging concerned people not to be anxious.

The number of diagnosed cases in the state remains at two, with every person under 18 who returned from China in the past 14 days told to stay away from schools.

"We are doing everything we can in Queensland to contain this virus," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Sunday.

All flights from China are now being met by teams of nurses, who are inspecting passengers for symptoms.

The passengers will then be quarantined for 14 days if they were in mainland China on February 1.

"These people will receive a phone call from public health staff every single day in that isolation period to make sure they remain well and they have what they need," Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.

However, flights from China are expected to begin "significantly" decreasing after the federal government imposed a travel ban on people from the mainland.

Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members will be permitted to enter the country, however.

"Fever clinics" have also begun opening to test people concerned they may have contracted the virus from other patients.

Despite this, Dr Young urged the public not to be anxious.

"If you haven't been to mainland China and you haven't come into contact with a confirmed case you won't have this novel coronavirus," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said schools across the state would be open as normal.

She also struck a conciliatory tone after criticising the federal government on Friday of failing to share international flight records that would reveal the locations of Chinese travellers who might be of concern.

"We are getting a lot more information out of the federal government and I am very appreciative of that because we are all in this together, she said.

"Especially, in relation to incoming passengers, a lot of work has been done overnight."

Opposition leader Deb Frecklington called on the Palaszczuk government to urgently implement an emergency assistance package for tourist centres from the Gold Coast to Far North Queensland.

The air travel restrictions from China threatened to wipe out thousands of jobs in areas already suffering from low visitor numbers, she said in a statement.

"Coronavirus is an economic crisis as well as a health emergency."

The call was backed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

A 44-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman from Hubei Province who were confirmed to have the virus are recovering in a stable condition in Gold Coast University Hospital.

The Chinese Women's Football Team, which is in quarantine in The Westin Brisbane hotel, have not shown any symptoms.